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Long Island weather: Clearing and calmer, but a chance of storms Saturday

Friday was no day at the beach in

Friday was no day at the beach in Long Beach, where a lone bicyclist pedaled away on the boardwalk. Credit: Newsday/J. Conrad Williams Jr.

Friday night was mostly clear, calm and a tad cooler after bands of rain swept across Long Island earlier in the day, bringing gusty winds and the threat of thunderstorms.

Initially, the National Weather Service, based in Upton, expected as much as 1 1/2 inches of rain in spots on Friday — but that prediction was downgraded, and the stormy weather yielded to blue skies in New York City in the early afternoon.

Areas to the north and west were forecast to be hit harder, said Tiffany Fortier, a weather service meteorologist.

Revealing how the Island escaped the brunt of it, only 23 outages were listed on PSEG Long Island's map just before 8 p.m. Friday; in contrast, Connecticut had about 2,500 customers affected, according to the utility firm Eversource's outage map. That was down from 9,000 earlier in the day.

Some branches fell in Huntington, Suffolk police said, but neither Suffolk nor Nassau police had gotten flood reports.

Travelers heading north and west encountered various problems. There was flooding, high winds and a spate of crashes from the Hudson Valley east to coastal Connecticut.

"There are a lot advisories in effect because of high wind, and a lower [speed] limit on the Mario Cuomo Bridge," said State Trooper Tara McCormick on Friday afternoon.

A fast-moving, low-pressure system was to blame. It spread across the eastern United States, bringing rains and winds with it.

The rest of Friday night was forecast to be mostly clear with a low in the mid-40s and wind from the west at around 6 mph, then diminishing later.

But Saturday could offer a repeat of Friday's dicey weather.

The first half of the day should be mainly dry, "however by afternoon a rather strong shortwave, embedded in the longwave trough, moves across the area," the weather service said.

That means an increasing chance of showers, and possibly thunderstorms after 4 p.m.

Some of the storms could produce small hail and gusty winds, as high as 31 mph, the weather service said. The chance of precipitation is 60%. New rainfall amounts were forecast between a tenth and quarter of an inch, except higher amounts possible in thunderstorms. Highs should be in the low 60s.

Sunday should feature increasing clouds and a high near 50 before dipping into the low 40s at night.

Monday’s chances of showers stand at 30%. The daytime high should be about 51 degrees. By nightfall, Long Islanders can anticipate mostly clear skies, breezy conditions, and thermometers retreating to the mid-30s, the weather service said.

With Joan Gralla

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